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Category: exhibition reviews

Reviews of Recent Museum and Gallery Shows

Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH November 1, 2020–March 14, 2021 by Diane Dias De Fazio Second Careers: Two Tributaries in African Art connected canonical works from western and central Africa to works from contemporary artists active in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Mozambique, whose use of repurposed materials echoes practices of the past.1 […]

Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA October 18, 2020–July 25, 2021 by Marina Wells The sounds of Billie Holiday, Beastie Boys, and The Clash bumped pleasantly in the background of the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston’s exhibition Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation, curated by Liz Munsell and Greg Tate. Though the […]

at HOME by Alice Quaresma

Pablo’s Birthday, New York September 17–October 25, 2020 by J. English Cook In his elegiac ruminations in The Poetics of Space (1958), Gaston Bachelard describes the intimate, sensuous associations that we often apply to the notion of home. Unexpectedly, his prose foreshadowed the confrontations between emotional and architectural interiority in our contemporary pandemic times. “Memories […]

Jessica Burko

Shelter in Place Gallery, Boston October 6–9, 2020 by Shannon Bewley Jessica Burko’s latest sculptural installation at Shelter in Place Gallery (SIP) in Boston, Massachusetts, consisted of assemblages of found furniture and photographs (fig. 1). Her stacked vintage dresser drawers leaned against the gallery walls. Red and blue drawers provided a pop of color among […]

Lucian Freud: The Self-Portraits

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston September 13, 2019–May 3, 2021 by Shannon Bewley and Chahrazad Zahi The portraits of Lucian Freud (1922–2011) dominated the discourse of the figurative genre of painting throughout the twentieth century, specifically in the Anglo-American realm.1 As a member of the influential group of figurative artists in the 1970s, known as the […]

“A West That Never Was”: David Levinthal at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The work of photographer David Levinthal is notorious for its “moral indeterminacy.”[1] For decades, Levinthal has photographed dolls, toys, and collectibles, using playthings to depict controversial themes. In 1996, Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art cancelled a planned exhibition of Levinthal’s “Blackface” (1995–98), a series of large-format Polaroid photographs depicting racist memorabilia. While the cancelled show […]

“Spolia: Transcripts of the Stones of the Little Metropolis”

Makryiannis Wing of the Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Athens, Greece September 10, – November 2, 2019 Housed in the Gennadius Library of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Nora Okka’s “Spolia: Transcripts of the Stones of the Little Metropolis” (Fig. 1) brings new life to the relief sculpture […]

Alina Szapocznikow: To Exalt the Ephemeral, 1962-1972

Hauser & Wirth, New York City  October 29, – October 26, 2018 “My gesture is addressed to the human body, ‘that complete erogenous zone,’ to its most vague and ephemeral sensations. I want to exalt the ephemeral in the folds of our body, in the traces of our passage.” – Alina Szapocznikow, March 1972 [1] So […]

Women Take the Floor

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston September 13, 2019 – May 3, 2021 Extreme times call for extreme heroines.  -Betye Saar At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, visitors are drawn into the third level of the Art of the Americas Wing by a number of converging speech bubbles featuring provocative statements by radical women thinkers […]